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The Home of Otter Interactive Fiction

Author: William Dooling
Date: 2017

Reviewed by Denk

I helped beta-test this game.

I will start out with the bad: This game has some parser problems. Luckily this is not a typical text adventure, so once you are past the beginning, the parser problems become less important. And if you give it a chance and learn the game mechanics it is quite fun.

There are however a few annoyances, which will be good to know when getting started:

1. The verb "get" is not recognized. Type "take" instead. (important in the beginning of the game)
2. You can type "inventory" to see what you have. However, if you only type "i", you will get the misleading response: "You are wearing nothing, and carrying nothing."
3. When reading a book the phrase must be spot on, e.g. READ BOOK OF FOLK TALES

Such things are easy to correct, so hopefully this will be fixed in a future release.

In addition I will highly recommend to read the manual before playing. Unfortunately the manual is not easy to find (search for Tingalan in the ADRIFT forum to find a link). I would recommend the author to upload the pdf-manual to the ADRIFT site (It may have to be zipped to be accepted).

You start out in your house, where you will select 5 items out of 21 items for your journey into the forest Tingalan where your objective is to return alive with as many treasures as you can. If you return alive, the price of all treasures are calculated and you are given a score in silver pieces.

Once you have chosen 5 items, the adventure begins. You start out in the city of Merch (one location). The map is to begin with logical, but as soon as you get far away from Merch you will receive a message: "The woods grow deeper..." which means that there is no easy way back to Merch.

The game mechanics are very untraditional. Often when you enter a new location you will have an encounter. You will then get a few choices on how to deal with that encounter. The number of options may depend on which items you have and the outcome of an option may rely on your current stats, i.e. your wits, your courage and your lore. E.g. if an option depends on your wits, you will have a higher chance of succeeding if your wits are high.

When you are not in an encounter, you will be able to SEARCH the location once and if you are lucky you will find something useful. However, SEARCH may also trigger encounters which may or may not be dangerous.

The text, music and sound effects add to a very atmospheric experience.

Though each playthrough is quite short, a lot of effort has obviously gone into this game, so that each playthrough is different than the previous one. This game is however tough. I think the most difficult thing is to get back alive to Merch once the woods grow deeper. Expect to die a lot in the beginning, and try to experiment with which items you start out with.

Overall this is a fun game, though I personally think the difficulty level could be reduced some. Of course, level of difficulty is very much a matter of taste. It would be cool if the author would put a high score list online. My personal high score is 23.


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